Liberty rookie, top WNBA pick Sabrina Ionescu avoids ankle surgery

Rookie Sabrina Ionescu will not need surgery on her injured ankle, the New York Liberty announced Saturday.

The No. 1 overall selection in the 2020 WNBA Draft, Ionescu sustained a Grade 3 left ankle sprain in New York’s 84-78 setback to the Atlanta Dream on July 31.

WATCH | Sabrina Ionescu leaves game with injury:

First-overall draft pick Sabrina Ionescu had to be carried off the court after injuring her ankle in the New York Liberty’s 84-78 loss to the Atlanta Dream on Friday night. 1:35

“Sabrina Ionescu has been evaluated and physicians have determined that no surgery is needed,” the team tweeted. “She has received a positive prognosis for a full recovery and is continuing to rehab. Additional information on her status will be shared as it becomes available.”

Ionescu sustained the injury after stepping on the foot of Atlanta’s Betnijah Laney while bringing the ball up the court in the second quarter.

A five-foot-11 guard, Ionescu was injured in just her third WNBA game. She averaged 18.3 points in 26.6 minutes per game for the Liberty, who are a league-worst 1-11 heading into play on Saturday.

A product of Oregon, Ionescu capped a storied collegiate career as the only athlete in NCAA men’s or women’s basketball history to surpass 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists. In addition, she notched an NCAA-record 26 career triple-doubles.

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